April 12th, 2010
Hebgen Dam: 654 cfs
Kirby: 694 cfs
Spring is in the air in Southwest Montana, and fishing between the lakes has been great for over a month now. Still not a lot going on as far as spawning, but the rainbows have definitely started to move around down there, and are looking to put on some weight. Nymphing is your best bet right now, and we have been doing very well with #18-22 midge patterns trailed behind san juan worms and baetis nymphs. However, if you happen to be in the right place at the right time the dry fly fishing has been outstanding as well– Stillborn midges and midge clusters size 18 and smaller are always a good bet. And yes, the fish are on the prowl for big ugly streamers, so now is a good time to string up the sinking lines and go looking for a monster. Just a word of advice though…if you do happen to see redds, please make sure to walk around them, and pay particular attention to the area in the rear, as this is where most of the eggs end up.
Other waters that are beginning to fish include the mid-lower Big Hole, and the Yellowstone. A couple of us have been hitting the sections between Mallard’s Rest and highway 89 on the Yellowstone, and have done pretty well with darker streamers like black and olive sex dungeons, boogie men, and circus peanuts. We have also seen great hatches of BWOs and midges come off in the afternoon, and even a few caddis, so don’t forget to bring your dry fly rod as well. From the report we got yesterday from our head guide Steve Mock, it looks like the big hole is getting ready to explode. Steve mentioned that they did well on both streamers and skwalla dries, but that it was still a little cold for a good skwalla flight in any kind of numbers– This could change in the next few days, so we will keep you posted.